Montrose Mansion and Chapel
13700, Hanover Road (MD 30), Reisterstown, Baltimore County
Montrose Mansion and Chapel and the two small domestic outbuildings located near the mansion are 19th century structures built as par of a country estate. The property was acquired by the state in the 1920s for use as a juvenile educational institution. The 19th century buildings border the 20th century campus structures. The mansion is an early second quarter 19th century 2-story neoclassical stone house with symmetrical fluted moldings and a variation of a Georgian plan. By the middle of the 19th century, a large 2-story wing was built on the east side. A mansard roof with round-top dormers, a cupola, and a bracketed cornice with pendants was added about 1880. The chapel, completed in 1855, is a rectangular structure of stone with Greek Revival decorative detailing, a three-story bell and entrance tower, a stone wall enclosing the yard, and two marked graves to the south of the chapel. Attached to the east end of the house is a small 2-story gable roofed frame domestic structure with frame appendages to the south. Two free-standing stone domestic outbuildings, one with a hip roof topped with a square ventilator and the other with a gable roof, sit a couple of feet farther to the east. The gable-roofed building is stuccoed. Neither the house nor the hip-roofed structure are presently stuccoed. The east end of the main portion of the house is built of brick which is now painted. The present landscaping feature of the house site appears to date from the institution period of the property's history.
The significance of Montrose Mansion and Chapel is derived from the architectural character of the buildings. The mansion, developed in three principal stages, embodies distinctive characteristics of neo-classical and Second Empire architecture as found in 19th century Baltimore County. Important neo-classical features evident here are the projecting bays on the principal elevation, fluted symmetrical molding, and the proportions and arrangement of the internal spaces of the main block. Significant Second Empire features are the mansard roof and cupola with round-top dormers and bracketed cornice with pendants. Of further interest is the scored decorative plaster work on the interior walls. Montrose Mansion is one of only two grand houses of pretention in size and decoration from the pre-Civil War period in the Reisterstown section of Baltimore County. Grand houses of this type and the Victorian county estate into which it was transferred by the close of the 19th century are types of properties found predominantly in the lower portion of the county relatively near the City of Baltimore. Few country estates in Baltimore County had private chapels as does the Montrose estate. Built in the 1850s, this chapel is Greek Revival in character. The other notable example is the third quarter 19th century wooden Gothic chapel on the Crimea estate, now in Baltimore City.